Bullpen blows game, chance to start a longer streak

by Gary Shelton on July 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Ramirez couldn't hold back the Cubs./CARMEN MANDATO

Ramirez couldn't hold back the Cubs./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 1 a.m.

Once again, the Tampa Bay Rays tried to start a roll.

Once again, their bullpen stopped it.

The Rays had a three-game winning streak Wednesday in a 7-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The Rays, as has often been the case, were in command of the game until turning it over to their relief pitchers, who allowed the Cubs to score seven times from the sixth to the eighth.

“We want to do everything we can to get better,” Rays' manager Kevin Cash

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Smith had four hits and scored three runs./CARMEN MANDATO

Smith had four hits and scored three runs./CARMEN MANDATO

said. “Our need to improve the bullpen starts from in here. We need guys to improve and be able to rely on those guys.”

Blake Snell, who has lost his first five decisions for Rays, seemed to be in good shape in this one. Although he gave up baserunners every inning, he left after five innings with a 3-0 shutout. He allowed four hits and four walks.

“I thought it was an up-and-down outing for Blake,” Cash said. “He navigated and got through five without any runs. That's a plus. We're going to have to get that pitch count down.”

This time, however, it was Erasmo Ramirez who allowed the lead to get away. Ramirez gave up four runs – three on a pinch-hit home run by John Jay. Adam Kolarek gave up one run and Chase Whitley two afterwards.

Longoria drove in his 50th and 51st runs of the year./STEVE MUNCIE

Longoria drove in his 50th and 51st runs of the year./STEVE MUNCIE

Ramirez has given up 16 home runs out of the bullpen since the start of last season, the fourth most among American League relievers over that span and one shy of the AL co-leaders.

Rays' relievers are now 15-20 on the season.

The Rays return home to the Trop tonight to face the Boston Red Sox. Jacob Faria pitches for the Rays against Chris Sale.

Mallex Smith had a good game for the Rays, going four-for-four and scoring three runs. Evan Longoria drove in two runs.

Rays' relievers are now 15-20 on the season.

The Rays return home to the Trop tonight to face the Boston Red Sox. Jacob Faria pitches for the Rays against Chris Sale.

Snell pitched five shutout innings, but needs to go longer./STEVE MUNCIE

Snell pitched five shutout innings, but needs to go longer./STEVE MUNCIE

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